BBC BLOGS - Piers Edwards

Archives for March 2011

Ghana ready to teach England a lesson

Post categories:

Piers Edwards | 11:48 UK time, Monday, 28 March 2011

England have never lost to African opposition but countless Ghanaians will tell you that this is because they've never played the Black Stars.

Already confident, fans of last year's World Cup quarter-finalists will be even more so after the withdrawal of a high-quality chunk of England's first team - Terry, Cole, Lampard, Rooney and Dawson - and the pledge to field a different XI to the one that beat Wales.

Although England's lack of respect for the fixture has left a sour taste for some Ghanaians, it will make no difference to players who are treating this game as a cup final.

Their real concern is its timing, coming 48 hours after Ghana's 3-0 win in Congo as the Group I leaders stayed on course for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations - thanks to goals from strikers Prince Tagoe, Dominic Adiyiah and Sulley Muntari.

Read the rest of this entry

Heavyweight bouts and a shock qualification await in Africa

Post categories:

Piers Edwards | 08:12 UK time, Friday, 25 March 2011

The return of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying after a five-month absence throws up three heavyweight clashes this weekend, and the intriguing possibility of a first ever appearance at the continent's greatest sporting event for traditional minnows Botswana.

And although much attention will be cast towards the Chadian capital N'Djamena where a Botswana win would make the Zebras the first team to reach next January's finals, eyes will also be firmly focussed on Johannesburg, Annaba and Dakar.

In Senegal already, the inside of Cameroon coach Javier Clemente's head must be a fairly frazzled place at the moment - for the Spaniard has two fundamental issues to contend with as he prepares for Saturday evening's massive Nations Cup tie.

One prompts recollections of the 1990 World Cup, when a presidential decree from Paul Biya forced Roger Milla's inclusion in the squad - and we all know what happened next.

Read the rest of this entry

Are Mali right to overlook Seydou Keita?

Post categories:

Piers Edwards | 11:48 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

You can count the legends of Malian football on the fingers of one hand, which is why the treatment of Seydou Keita this week is all the more surprising.

With the retirements of uncle Salif (the first African Footballer of the Year in 1970) and Frederic Kanoute (who's still playing club football for Seville), Momo Sissoko crocked until the end of the season, that just leaves Mahamadou Diarra and Keita still eligible to play for the Eagles.

Diarra, a defensive midfielder who once netted a crucial goal to help Real Madrid win the Spanish league but who was loaned to Monaco in January, is still in the thick of things and captains the side.

Despite occasionally representing a side many pundits are claiming to be the best ever, Barcelona's Keita, 31, failed to make coach Alain Giresse's squad this week.

Read the rest of this entry

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.